Episode 70: Are Creatives Unstable?

Are Creatives Unstable

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This Friday post is a little unorthodox for me. But it does have some merit for this show since this is the podcast for all things creative to help you build and grow your business.

First, let me throw out that the word, “creative” to me is sexy.

I say this because I know I am a creative. I am someone who has lived and experienced some creative life and business adventures thus far – and I am super thankful and grateful for these experiences!

I am totally and greatly loved, and I love myself!

I mean I really do love myself! It is hard to freaking explain because I am just in a good place in my life right now.

Some people already know that I was battling some personal struggles recently. The biggest of them all was walking away from a 14-year marriage. It was long overdue as I was not myself deep down, which is not a good thing to experience when you are a creative.

I won’t go into specifics here for this show, I will save that for a future episode when the timing is right, but I do want to mention it because as a creative life and business can often zigzag.

I mean it’s not like we are living and doing the same thing every day – clocking into a desk job, collecting a check and benefits, and living life on the weekends.

No offense to people who live this life as I know that there are people who are totally comfortable with this lifestyle. I tried it for several years, and it just wasn’t me.

What many people don’t know about me is that:

  • I am 36 years young

  • I have living and loving parents and grandparents

  • I have three teenage boys who I love and want with me each day

  • I have a loving and supportive ex-wife who – we are separated – and I totally support her creative endeavors. Two creatives living together may not work folks!

Yes, I have plenty of failures along the way – bankruptcy, foreclosure, a failed marriage, alcohol addiction, not being a good father when my kids needed me most in their younger years. The latter I have actually improved a ton with my kids, excuse me teenagers, who are my best pals.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, I do realize that these experiences have made me a stronger person, a stronger father, a stronger me, and a stronger creative!

My work career I bounced around a TON! I started work at age 14, and in the last 22 years, I have worked 20 or more jobs.

I will name them off here for fun sake:

  • Domino’s pizza flyer boy

  • Milan’s Pizza

  • Warner Bros. Studio Store

  • Hecht’s

  • RadioShack

  • net – pyramid scheme

  • GNC

  • Nightclub promoter

  • Patent and Trademark Office

  • Residential Real Estate

  • GEICO

  • Daycare

  • American Family Fitness

  • Capitol Remodeling

  • AFLAC

  • Capital One

  • Snagajob

  • Substitute teacher

  • Strategic Communications Group

  • Mister Kleen

  • The Creative Marketing Zone

Mister Kleen and The Creative Marketing Zone are my longest endeavors thus far. Mister Kleen I worked at for three years and The Creative Marketing Zone I am creeping in on two years here shortly.

So, when writing this, I couldn’t help but ask myself – is this normal? Am I unstable?

To answer this question, I thought it would be best to look up the definition of unstable.

The definition I came across on a Google search was, “prone to change, failure; not stable.” It goes on to say, “prone to psychiatric problems or sudden changes of mood.”

So, after reading that definition, I do identify with certain criteria, such as prone to change and failure. But I definitely don’t fall into the psychiatric issues.

I am overall a really chill dude and while I do often experience some down moments (who hasn’t), I am not someone who will go way off the deep end.

But what about some of the creatives throughout history? There is way too many for me to name here because so many people were brilliant, but also a little bit nuts, such as Tolstoy, Van Gogh, Dickens, and Howard Hughes.

But then there are others who don’t appear to be nuts who also have created and accomplished amazing feats.

For instance, the other night I was watching a new Netflix documentary on the legendary Quincy Jones. It was a powerful documentary and I highly recommend tuning into it if you haven’t done so yet.

His upbringing in the 1930’s in the south side of Chicago, his schizophrenic mother, and his failed marriages was talked about. One thing that struck me was his extreme, and I mean extreme work ethics.

Quincy Jones is a legend. He has impacted music and film for decades, working with legends such as:

  • Frank Sinatra

  • Ray Charles

  • Lesley Gore

  • Michael Jackson

  • Will Smith

And way too many to name off here. But one thing he was, was a workaholic. And this cost him his marriages and his relationship with his kids until they got older. And his extreme working conditions also hospitalized him several times too in which he almost died from.

Now, I do consider myself a workaholic – not necessarily to the Quincy Jones or Steve Jobs extreme, but I have been found to work for week’s straight non-stop with no regard of time.

Last Friday’s solo episode I talked about The Flow concept and how to achieve greater creativity and productivity by tapping into your flow state.

One thing I talked about when in the flow state is a total lack of awareness of your surroundings, or the world around you when you are in this state. You are in the zone, and to get out of this zone can be really hard to do unless you are routinely distracted.

As creatives, we can work an extreme amount of hours sometimes 24 hours straight. But this is where the magic I feel happens.

It doesn’t happen during your standard 9-5 job. There is no lunch breaks, television watching, or hanging out and socializing. We are in our elements working while the rest of the world may be sleeping.

I mean I did this for years when first starting this business while working full-time. I would wake up at the crack of dawn – 4 am – and start working on my business or client work I picked up on the side, work my standard job (9-6), come home and go back at it until well after midnight.

I did that for two years straight until it was time for me to go off on my own.

I can’t explain that type of work ethic or commitment to something I was passionate about. I was just excited to wake up and stay up. And I still am.

I have missed tons of parties, events, special occasions, and time with family. And to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way. For this to me is what being and living the creative life is all about.

Balance? Yeah right

Structure? Hardly

Daily routine? I wish I could tell you each day is the same, but if I did then I would not be a creative!

So, I am actually going to end today’s episode on this note and ask you – do you think creatives are unstable? And if you are a creative, then please let me know by sharing this episode on either Twitter, LinkedIn, or an Instagram Story and let me know what your creative life is like. I am curious as I feel like us creatives do need to stick together.

Alright folks, thanks for tuning in and I will be back here on Tuesday with another fun interview featuring some creative marketing ninja tips you can apply to your business. Adios!

Eric

Tune in Below:

Also Available to Listen/Download in iTunes | Google Play Store | Stitcher Radio | Spotify | And More!